Spring is the perfect time to throw a party, how about a champagne brunch? Well here are some tips and ideas to help you throw a great brunch.
Champagne brunches can be as formal or as casual as you wish. Often times a brunch will be mostly casual with a hint of formality. You do not have to wait until Mothers Day or Easter to host a champagne brunch. Most people will host their brunch on Sunday, but Saturday can be a good day too. You can host your brunch as early as 10:00 Am or as late as noon. Most brunches are later rather than earlier. Remember that champagne brunches are not just for the wealthy, they can usually be hosted for less than most dinner parties, after all breakfast is the least expensive meal to prepare. Brunches are a very affordable way to entertain.
The first thing to consider is your guest list and invitations. If the brunch is going to be very casual you can forgo the written invitation and just call to invite your guests. However if you prefer to have a bit more of a formal brunch then by all means send out a written invitation. Even if you do send out invitations, keep them simple and casual, and be sure to send them out well in advance.
Since it is a champagne brunch you want to make sure you have enough on hand. So how do you know how much to buy. The typical bottle of champagne will yield six four ounce servings, plan on each guest having two to three servings. If you are making a champagne punch you maybe able to get by with less. One perfect champagne punch for a champagne brunch is mimosa, a champagne and orange juice creation that is wonderful for brunch. You may also wish to serve bloody marys, these tend to be the drink of choice in the morning for many people. In addition to the alcoholic beverages you should have plenty of coffee with sugar and cream, milk, orange juice, and possibly some other fruit juices.
Your brunch could be a sit down affair and served in courses, but most brunches are served buffet style. How much you decorate will depend on how formal the party is. But using a nice table cloth, a nice centerpiece, perhaps some spring flowers, and putting out your fine china is a great idea for most brunches. Remember casual with a bit of formality.
If you decide on buffet style use two tables if possible, one for the appetizers, salads and entrees, the other for beverages and deserts. This will help the traffic jams that can occur at buffets.
For your menu you will have many choices, what you ultimately decide will depend on your guest list, the amount of space you have, and your budget. Most people will offer both breakfast and lunch items. When planning your menu think about offering dishes from the following categories. Fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, breads, meats, salads, and deserts, You should have both hot and cold items, as well as both sweet and savory items. Try to have lots of variety of colors with your menu, this will help add to the festive atmosphere.
For egg items a quiche is great for brunch, as is a frittata. Both these egg dishes can be as fancy as you wish, and both can contain vegetables as well as meat and cheese. These are considered to be the ultimate brunch items by many people. If you have the skill an omelet station with custom made omelets to order for your guests will help make your brunch very special indeed. Other egg dishes to consider would be eggs benedict, eggs florentine and huevos rancheros.
Of course breakfast items like pancakes, french toast, waffles, blintzes and other crepes are wonderful brunch items. You could have a waffle station where you or your guests make waffles to order. Be sure to have several different syrups to choose from. Meat items such as sausage, ham, bacon and chicken fried steak also will be well received by your guests. Don’t forget the hash browns, potatoes o’brian, or the biscuits and gravy.
Coffee cakes, pastries, scones, donuts, bagels and muffins will all be welcome at a brunch. Fruits can be served in a fruit salad, try adding a nice flavored yogurt for a wonderful twist. Ambrosia works well as does the classic waldorf salad. Again go for colorful items.
You should offer a soup and some salads as well. Some carved meats such as ham, roast beef or turkey along with cheese and fresh breads and croissants can be used for sandwiches or finger foods. Adding some different mustards would be a great idea. Offering a chicken of fish dish would add a nice variety. Perhaps lemon basil baked chicken breast, or some smoked salmon.
Depending on how many sweet items you have you may decide to add desert if you don’t think you have enough. Sorbets, ice cream, pie, cakes, baklava, and mousse all make great deserts for a brunch.
Finally don’t forget about the music, if you can afford it live entertainment will make your brunch a huge splash. A solo guitar player performing some nice soothing relaxing music in the background will add the perfect ambiance. Of course a nice relaxing CD could work as well, Illusions my debut solo CD works great for such occasions.
With so many choices you will have to make decisions and choose your menu with thought given to your cooking skill, your guest list and your space available. But with some creative thought and planning you will be able to host a memorable brunch indeed.